Kevin from Cork, Ireland…you SUCK!

Posted by - October 24, 2011 | Category: Library

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Kevin from Cork Ireland -- an idiot and his graffiti

There are few things I dislike in this world. Green peppers, Paris Hilton, the public clipping of toe nails – minor annoyances. All superficial really.

But one thing that’s creeped onto that pet peeve list lately is graffiti. Not the arty, subversive Banksy-type stuff gritty’ing up inner-city walls, but the handwritten crap that scars tourist attractions across the globe. The “I-was-here-but-now-I’m-gone-so-I-left-my-name-to-turn-you-on” variety – scrawled, scratched, and scribbled by Sharpie-wielding halfwits on holidays.

What compels these morons to impart lowbrow limericks or “Joanie + Chachi 4Ever” missives I’m not sure. Bathroom walls are one thing, but on sacred and solemn sites? Tsk, tsk. One thing I do know…

Kevin from Cork, Ireland is one of those morons.

Do not write or paint on the photos or wall

There shouldn’t need to be signs reminding you not to write on the walls here, but regardless, idiots like our pal Kevin do just that.

This is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum barbed wire

In quieter times, it was a high school. Nicknamed S-21, Pol Pot’s communist Khmer Rouge regime used it as a prison during its rise to power in 1975 up to its fall in 1979.

Photos of victims of Pol Pot's regime, Tuol Sleng Prison Genocide museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today it is a museum documenting the thousands who were tortured and murdered both here and at nearby Choeung Ek – the most infamous of the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

Prison shackles, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng prison bed

When Tuol Sleng was discovered by the invading Vietnamese army in 1979, combat photographer Ho Van Tay documented what he saw when he entered each cell. Today, his chilling photos are on display in each of the rooms.

Photo of S21 prison victim, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Toul Sleng prison bed photo

Of the up to 20,000 people who were imprisoned here, only 7 made it out alive.

human skull at tuol sleng prison Phnom Penh

Graves at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng prison window in black and white

The sad thing is, Kevin is not alone. There are hundreds of feeble-minded vandals armed with markers, crayons, and yes, even lipstick, who feel the need to deface in a multitude of languages.

Tuol Sleng graffiti

Graffiti at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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Tuol Sleng S21 wall graffiti

S21 wall graffiti

I don’t get it. And I’m not sure what else to say.

Except maybe…

Kevin from Cork, Ireland (and those like you)…you SUCK!

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125 comments - add one
  1. Was there yesterday and saw exactly what you did and more. Idiot tourists posing on the hanging gallows, getting the young Cambodian girls they had brought with them to take the perfect photos of their pose. Saw one ‘gent’ actually spit on the site… sigh…if only there was a filtering system to keep them out, but I guess that is the price of democracy…every one gets a chance..in this case to be a moron.
    Ted recently posted…The Travel Blog – Ahh Mr Bond….Hong Kong!My Profile

      1. Did forget to say that this is a great blog post (wish I had though of it!) as the number of times you see this kind of thing drives me crazy. Would it be an outrageous call that anyone found with a marker pen in a place of historic or cultural significance is taken out the back and the S***t slapped out of them? Does that make me a bad person? ;-) Keep up the good work man on the Lam!
        Ted recently posted…Macau, not quite Viva Las Vegas!My Profile

  2. oh my. don’t know what to say. except: Kevin, you suck!
    it makes me really sad when people do this. here in Berlin there’s a “new tourist attraction” at Potsdamer Platz where you can find a piece of the Berlin Wall… and several weeks ago people started sticking their chewing gums on it. every day there are new ones. so sad.
    Yvonne recently posted…5 Things You Need To Know About GeocachingMy Profile

    1. It’s weird but you see grafitti in the most unusual places. You would think that the people who go on hikes to remote areas are the ones who appreciate the value of nature, but sadly, that’s not always the case.

  3. We share a pet peeve on this one. I have never understood the childish desire to write your name on things. If somebody really feels the need to write their name on something they should go somewhere that allows it. Like Gino’s Pizza in Chicago. It’s a giant guest book!
    Crystal recently posted…Impromptu Trip to Hampton, VAMy Profile

  4. I am trying to be charitable.

    I think that Kevin and others were trying to reduce in their minds what happened there because they cannot grasp it, they cannot imagine what went on there.

    They can see the photos, but they cannot let the reality in – but the imagery is so powerful that it starts to creep in – so they scribble a bit of their own ‘normal’ identity on the walls to blot that reality out.

    Or – not being charitable – they are mindless idiots – there are plenty of those about, too.

    Or, and this is a sobering thought – the Cambodians who carried out these atrocities were just people too. Perhaps Kevin in another life might have been one of them.

  5. Kevin is a loser, a really pathetic human being that apparently needs the world to think he is important instead of going out and doing something important. But enough of that, thank you for posting about such an emotionally disturbing place to remind us what can happen when power is abused.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted…INTERVIEW: Ladysmith Black Mambazo on Nelson Mandela, Graceland & 50 Years As South Africa’s Cultural AmbassadorsMy Profile

  6. Great post Raymond! And yes Kevin does suck, luckily he’s from the Republic of Ireland – if he was from Northern Ireland I’d be deeply upset. I have also been to Tuoul Sleng and the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek and am appalled that someone could graffitti it. It’s a disgrace. However, I have signed my name a few times on other things, when it was appropriate to do so. What an idiot Kevin is. How sad. Safe travels. Jonny

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